THE ICON: Allan and Sandra Jaffe
THE LEGACY: Allan and Sandra Jaffe were jazz-crazed newlyweds from Philadelphia who, after a New Orleans concert, wound up at a French Quarter art gallery whose owner used it for occasional jazz concerts. When he decided to move and let the Jaffes run the jazz space starting in 1961, they leapt at the chance, founding Preservation Hall. The rest, for musicians and jazz fans around the world, is a happy bit of history. In addition to giving audiences a taste of jazz by some of its oldest, most revered practitioners, Pres Hall — as it is commonly called — provided a showcase, and income, for local musicians who might not otherwise have received the attention they deserve, and who in return help keep New Orleans’ native art form alive.
THE ARTIST: Alexandra Kilburn
THE INSPIRATION: “Anything we are credited for doing for the music or the musicians is minimal compared to what they’ve done for us. The hall itself is a magical place, and when you’re in there and you’re listening to the music, there’s something magical that happens, with the music and the musicians and the people who are listening to it. And we wouldn’t change it.” — Sandra Jaffe, in a 1988 interview with The Times-Picayune